Boris’s terrorism crackdown is a mistake

Boris Johnson has responded to the Streatham attack by vowing to crackdown on convicted terrorists, introducing retrospective legislation to end the automatic early release of such prisoners at the halfway stage. But this is the wrong approach. Instead, the fault lies within a dysfunctional and ineffective probation service that attaches insufficient weight to protecting the public. And the probation service is under the Government’s direct control. Justice secretary Robert Buckland says that the proposed law will not increase the ‘penalty’ element of the sentence, only the administration. But if that’s true, there is no need for a change in the law. He can alter the administration immediately. It is certainly

How the crackdown on terrorists can avoid the Human Rights Act trap

Some human rights lawyers have warned that emergency legislation to prevent automatic early release of convicted terrorists – confirmed by Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions today – may be unlawful and will be challenged in the courts. But the warning should not deter Parliament from enacting this legislation. It is for Parliament, not the courts, to decide how best to protect the public and how to treat convicted terrorists fairly. In the wake of Sunday’s terrorist attack in Streatham, attention has rightly turned to the scandal of automatic early release of highly dangerous terrorists. Sudesh Amman, the Streatham attacker, had been released from custody in late January, having served

Cindy Yu

How the Streatham terrorist exploited a loophole in our knife laws

When I worked at Lidl, there were a few products that we took extra care with. Some of these were high-value goods at risk of being stolen (like the £100 laptop we once sold, causing biblical scenes of chaos in the middle aisle). Others were to comply with laws on selling dangerous goods. Knives were always locked up behind the till. In Lidl’s Tooting branch, in a relatively rough area near Streatham, the knives were all taken out of their boxes and locked up in the managers’ office. To purchase, you’d have to show ID and wait at a till as a manager brought back the knife. So how was

Streatham terror incident: what we know

A terrorist recently released from prison has been shot dead by undercover police in Streatham, south London, after stealing a kitchen knife from a shop and stabbing three people, one of whom one is in a critical condition. Sudesh Amman, jailed for distributing terrorist materials two years ago, was wearing a fake suicide vest when he was shot by the undercover officers who had been following him. There are reports that Amman, 20, kept a notebook where he wrote of his ambition to “die as a shuhada [martyr]”: he seems to have struck days after his early released. He had served half of his three-year sentence. Gunshots were heard on